For a long time, Czech food has been famous for its heft. Goulash you can stand a spoon up in. Dumplings the size of bowling balls. Sausages by the cart load. In short, restaurants in Prague have developed a reputation for rib-sticking fare.
While these staples haven’t lost their allure, Czech cuisine has evolved beyond the realms of traditional Czech cooking. From Prague’s most classic culinary standard-bearers such as Palffy Palac and Mlejnic, to upstarts like Mlýnec and Kalina, cooking under the banner of “new Prague cuisine”, these 10 restaurants capture the capital’s thriving dining culture.
Baroque, traditional, and bedecked in white tablecloths: Palffy Palac isn’t just upscale, it’s actually located inside the 17th century palace of the same name. This established fine-dining enclave is best suited to special occasions, but don’t doubt its authenticity – the restaurant’s pedigreed produce is sourced from nearby Luníkov farm.
Parnas combines two of Prague’s specialities: elegant, early 20th century décor and, naturally, a menu of exceptional Czech cuisine. A stone’s throw from the National Theatre and within sight of the Charles Bridge, the restaurant offers dishes that combine the rarefied with the reassuring (like goulash doused in Armagnac and crowned with bacon dumplings, or roasted duck breast served with apricot coulis).
U Modré Kachničky
U Modré Kachničky may have the most endearing name of all the restaurants in Prague (that mouthful translates to “The Little Blue Duck”), but that’s not what draws in the punters. Across its two locations – one in the Old Town and one just across the river – the restaurant’s interpretations of Czech fare, like fallow deer saddle with cranberries, offer the right balance of hearty and refined.
Who would’ve thought that traditional Czech cuisine would mingle so well with Indian spices? The unexpected pairing is proven at V Zátiší. Helmed by chef Mahavir Kanswal, the menu comprises favourites like pumpkin soup with autumn pear and South Bohemian duck with cabbage and fresh herb dumplings alongside dishes slung piping hot from the tandoor.
Whole roast ducks, veritable trays of schnitzel and never-ending Pilsner Urquell on draught: yup, you’re definitely in Prague. At V Kolkovně, the portion sizes are only part of the reason diners fill up the sprawling, ex-industrial space in droves, though: once you sink a fork into the melting pork knuckles, you too will want to settle in for a delicious hibernation.